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by Ron Rose
The World Starts Over
    After the death of Adam and Eve, life on earth grew more violent and evil. People lived over nine hundred years, but long life didn’t mean they spent more time with God. They lived for themselves, acting as their own guides. Without shame, God’s fallen people had transformed God’s world into a faithless nightmare. Granted, he didn’t create them to be puppets, controlled by every twitch of his fingers; he created them with freedom to choose their own direction. But once they discovered their own power, they walked away from the One who created them. And the almighty Creator God regretted his own creation.

    Imagine heaven draped with sadness—God allowing his heart to be filled with sorrow and pain. But, there was hope.

    Noah’s family continued to walk with God outside the long lost Garden. Enoch, Noah’s great-grandfather, had found a heart path to God and "walked" there constantly. Their relationship was so extraordinary that God had taken Enoch home, sparing him the experience of death. Noah surely knew that story well. He, too, was a good man who lived by God’s compass despite the conditions in his world.

The LORD saw that the human beings on the earth were very wicked and that everything they thought about was evil. He was sorry he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain .... But Noah pleased the LORD.
    Hundreds of years had passed since Adam and Eve were created in the Garden. Now God decided to start over with humankind. God told Noah to build an ark—a big barge, a watertight hotel for animals, because it was about to rain and rain and rain. Although neither Noah nor anybody else had ever seen it rain, Noah obeyed. Surely Noah must have wondered, questioned—building something that had never been seen or needed or even imagined before. He understood later, but he began by faithfully trusting God and building the barge. Once completed and filled with Noah, his family, and representatives of all the animals, God released the underground springs and turned on the forty-day rain. Eventually water covered the whole earth, but those in the floating zoo were safe and dry.

    Together, Noah’s family and the chosen animals spent over a year in that big barge while the world beneath them was being washed clean. When they finally stepped out onto dry land, they thanked God for keeping his dream alive and for choosing them to be part of it.

Reflection: Don’t you imagine there were evenings when a sleepless Noah lay there wondering what in the world he was doing, wishing he understood more about the why? At times God asks us to do things we’ve never done, go places we’ve never been, and experience things we’ve not even thought of. It’s not his way to force us beyond our will; he never coerces our reply or our relationship. He chooses to be our guide, invites us to go beyond our comfort zones, deepens our confidence in him, and draws us closer to him. Our response shouldn’t require understanding, but faith.


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